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How to Start an Online Christian Book Store
Staring your own online Christian bookstore is an excellent way to provide a service to other Christians as well as make money. Christians are always looking for faith-related materials, such as books, movies and music. Your Internet business can help you make a profit and offer a service that provides others Christians with the tools to grow closer to God and have a greater understanding of their religion.
Choose the name for your online Christian bookstore. You need a memorable and catchy name so that people remember to revisit and tell others about your website. Use your store's name as the domain name for your website as well.
Register your store's domain name and purchase web hosting package. Websites like Mad Dog and GoDaddy offer affordable prices on registering website domain names.
Build a website for your online store. Create a website using tools provided by your web hosting company. Include multiple pages for inventory and check-out to give your Christian bookstore a professional-looking appearance. Design a logo for your home page, complete with information and updates about sales and products. Organize your book inventory that is user friendly and easily to access through topic and author. Post photographs of each product and include a detailed description for each. Allow buyers to rate and comment on books.
Create a customer service and contact page for your Christian bookstore. Your customers need a method of contacting you about purchases and returns. Providing excellent customer service is crucial to starting a successful online Christian bookstore. Leave a business phone number and email address for customers to reach you.
Find distributors for your bookstore. Buy books below retail price to make a profit. The two largest distributors are Christianbook.com and Word Distribution. Research their sites and make calls to customer service to see what you can purchase in bulk or deals they provide to small online sellers. Ask if the distributor can ship directly to your customers. If not, incorporate monthly business expenses for packing and shipping materials, postage scales and postage fees.
Sign-up for an account with Paypal. Paypal provides online businesses with the ability to accept direct payments, electronic checks and credit card transactions for merchandise that sells. This allows you to serve customers who don't feel comfortable paying directly on your site or sending you checks or money orders.
Register with Google AdWords to advertise your business. As of 2010, through Google AdWords you create an ad campaign using keywords to drive online traffic to your website. The more traffic that visits your online Christian store, the more books you sell. This is not a free service. You are charged per click or keyword from people who click on your website or ad.
Join Internet Christian discussion forums to promote your bookstore. Sign up and spend time participating in the forums and posting frequently about your online store. Promote your business with members of your church and community. Post an add on your church's bulletin and website, if possible.
Consider hiring a professional web designer to create our online store.
If your online Christian bookstore becomes a hit and you want to expand the business, consider hiring an intellectual property attorney to file trademark applications to protect your brand.
Lucy Bowles is an avid freelance writer from Indianapolis. She has written for various websites since 2009. As a certified paralegal Bowles has worked in the areas of business, intellectual property and entertainment law. She has a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in legal studies from Indiana University.